We hope you saw our big announcement that Telsa founder Elon Musk has purchased J-List…then checked your calendar, realizing that Japan was 13 hours ahead of the rest of the world, rendering the likelihood that Elon had actually purchased J-List with Dogecoin quite low. We had fun making that news post (which was fake) as well as announcing the new J-List Megu-Live Idol Battle Card Game (which is real, and you’ll get Megumi cards included with all orders shipping from Japan during the month of April). I thought I’d write a post about how April Fool’s Day has been embraced by Japan in recent years, as well as going over the “best hits” of J-List’s April Fool’s jokes in the past.
The History of April Fool’s Day in Japan
The origins of April Fool’s Day are shrouded in mist, with each region of Europe having its own local traditions about where the strange custom came from, from France to Scotland to Poland and the Nordic countries. In Japan, the practice of trying to prank someone on the first day of April became known as shigatsu no baka by the 1920s, though it must have been treated as a very strange foreign custom indeed. April Fool’s but it didn’t take its more modern form until the Internet made it fun to try to fool as many people online as possible, with Japanese companies announcing such ridiculous products as sushi flavored Kit Kat or cars with built-in rice cookers, or trolling Steins;Gate fans by installing a real time machine at the top of the soon-to-be-demolished Radio Kaikan building in Akihabara.
J-List and April Fool’s Day
J-List has also had fun with April Fool’s Day over the years. While most of our efforts cause people to laugh and move on, sometimes we’re too successful, like that time we “opened a physical shop in Akihabara” for one day only, on April 1st in 2010. Literally everyone believed it was real, and I think we’ve still got customers wandering around Akiba, looking for a our shop.
Today you can buy lots of visual novels on Steam, but back in 2011 this was unheard of…especially he idea of buying 18+ games. When we announced that all JAST USA titles were available on Steam, we had people emailing us for days asking why they couldn’t find the games on the Steam website.
Do you love visual novels? While the best place to get JAST USA’s VNs and hentai RPGs is the JAST USA website, or J-List for limited physical game releases, you can also find many of our great titles on Steam, too. Our Steam store link is here!
Remember that year the entire world got a crush on Prosecutor General of Crimea, Natalia Poklonskaya? We used her as an excuse to make a parody of our hentai visual novel My Girlfriend is the President (“Yes, we cum!”) called My Girlfriend is the Prosecutor-General. The post was a big hit in Russia.
Another year we announced that an all-ages version of Starless (one of our sexiest games ever) would be coming soon to Steam’s Greenlight system, with heavy editing to remove all the naughty parts. Would you play it?
Then there was the time JAST USA and MangaGamer made a fighting game with characters from both company’s top titles.
Then there was the year we announced that we were partnering with Tamatoys to display an itasha at Anime Expo, and showed these awesome “photos” of the car we were going to have at our booth. The CGI render was good enough to fool Mrs. J-List, who got quite upset with me for buying a BMW Z4 without getting her permission first.
J-List is proud to announce the new Megumi App, our new anime virtual assistant who will always be by your side! Coming to iOS and Android! pic.twitter.com/qoTTSoen4k
— J-LIST (@jlist) April 1, 2017
Another April Fool’s “greatest hit” was when we announced the upcoming Virtual Megumi App, in which a virtual Megumi would wake you up, tell you what the weather was going to be like today, and of course report when your next order from J-List would be delivered. So many fans thought it was real, we felt bad that we had to tell them it was fake. Sorry!
One year we decided to create a fake Megumi Magazine. It was one of those “the more work you put into trying to make something popular on the Internet, the less well-received it will be.” Oh well.
Who wouldn’t want an official J-List anime, about Megumi while she was growing up, before she realized her dream of starting an anime and hentai shop on the Internet? The Koisuru Asteroid anime fit the bill perfectly!
The release of the figure of Tomoyo from that anime lead to an official J-List Megumi Nendoroid announcement. Make sure to preorder yours!
(One of these days, when we get this COVID nonsense behind us, I swear we’ll start work on a Kickstarter for an official Megumi Nendoroid, since we know a lot of fans would like one.)
Thanks for reading this post about the history of April Fool’s Day on J-List! Have a great day, and don’t believe everything you read on the Internet!
The hits from J-List’s sister company J18 Publishing just keep coming, and now we’ve got a fun hentai doujinshi called Lusty Ayaka-chan, about a lucky boy whose parents go on vacation, causing him to spend time with a saucy GAL. The book is in stock in San Diego now!